Virtues are just like behaviors that we develop through the dilly interaction with the environment. Developing virtuous trait is a constant process throughout our lives through the various experiences we encounter. The ability to be virtuous is the act of expressing a good character. The character is developed throughout the life of an individual as children, the experiences around us help to build our virtuous characteristics. Virtuous traits concentrate on the character of an individual based on the decision they make on a daily basis. The ability to think and make rational ethical choices in the middle of difficulties defies a person’s virtuous traits (Chakrabarty 494).
There is a difference between virtue ethics and consequential theory since the aim of the consequential theory is to make judgments on the consequences of a decision by disregarding the intentions of a person. Consequential theory puts much concern on the consequence of a decision on its outcome. The effect of the decision and the number of people it influences in the future is the most significant concern of this theory. Non-consequential theory, on the other hand, is concerned with the reasons and motives behind a decision. This theory disregards the outcome of a decision and only judges individuals based on their intentions in making the decision. The theory will consider good intentions in making a decision and caring less on the impact such a decision leaves behind (Chakrabarty 490).
All these theories are relevant in decision-making and are often applicable in the society. Virtue ethics is concerned with establishing a good character that will enable individuals to make the right decisions. Consequentialist and non-consequentialist judges the outcome of a decision and the reasons behind certain choices while disregarding the character of an individual.
Kellogg’s CSR statement is insincere as the company is just trying to convince the public that it is, in fact, a socially responsible company. The company through its CSR statement markets itself with the claim of offering nutritious products that promote a healthy lifestyle. However, this is not the case since the company’s products have been proven to not meeting the requirements of a healthy breakfast. The company’s breakfast bars have high sugar levels and fat levels beyond those recommended by health specialists. The LC bars produced by the company additionally have little dietary fiber with higher levels of saturated fiber, which is the opposite of what the company claims in its CSR statement. These facts support the fact that the company is engaging in insincere CSR.
Kellogg’s should desist from making a false claim with the aim of convincing the stakeholders that it is engaging in ethical practices. It is evident that the company is hiding in CSR with the objective of generating much profit from the sale of its products. The company should engage in honest dealings with its customers since they are the primary stakeholders in its business. The company has also claimed that it is acting with the highest levels of ethical standards. It is not the case since the findings by the Food Commission indicate that the company is engaging in unethical practices of lying to its customers (Lawton 642).
The CSR statement used by Kellogg’s goes against the ideals of Kantian theory. The Kantian ethical theory provides that one should not use another person as a means to an end. Kellogg’s, in this case, is using its customers as a means to an end. The company has developed a CSR statement that is appealing to the customers but fails to adhere to integrity issues of fully disclosing the contents of their products.
The concept of fair trade continues to elicit diverse opinions in regards to how it seeks to help farmers. The initial aim of fair trade was to label goods under fair trade with the aim of supporting farmers from poor communities. The foundation behind this initiative sought to work with communities directly to make this a reality. The concept of fair trade has however failed to achieve its objectives. The imitative has been used for the wrong purpose, which has seen farmers getting poorer at the expense of intermediaries and retailers. Farmers in developed countries have been enrolled in this program where their goods are also labeled under the fair trade. Farmers in developing countries have been forced to compete with the farmers who have a greater advantage when it comes to production. Customers pay for goods with an extra price with the aim of supporting farmers from poor communities, but the same money is diverted to retailers and other intermediaries. Farmers are required to meet the requirements of fair trade to be granted labels. Most farmers in developed countries easily meet the requirement while farmers from poor communities fail to meet these requirements. Since consumers will decide to buy products labeled under free trade, developed countries will continue accumulating more wealth while developing countries will reap insignificant benefits from the initiative (Brooks 550).
Corporations have no responsibility to global communities but are only responsible for their actions that could affect these communities. The main argument could be that corporations are created to make and maximize profits. What we forget is that individuals who are guided by ethics run these corporations. It is through these ethical expectations that these corporations continue to be responsible to the world.
Brooks, Thom. “Is Fair Trade a fair deal?” Cambridge Review of International Affairs 29.2 (2016): 548-561.
Chakrabarty, Subrata, and A. Erin Bass. “Comparing virtue, consequentialist, and deontological ethics-based corporate social responsibility: Mitigating microfinance risk in institutional voids.” Journal of Business Ethics 126.3 (2015): 487-512.
Lawton, Alan, and Iliana Páez. “Developing a framework for ethical leadership.” Journal of Business Ethics 130.3 (2015): 639-649.